Monday, July 30, 2012

Some Things to Like About Madison

I just got home from Madison, Wisconsin.  “Just” being a totally relative term, of course -  there’s been about seven naps in between getting home and sitting down to write this post…

I spent a week in Madison for some personal professional development.  When I told people that I was going there, they had nothing but nice things to say about the city and they told me that I was going to love it.  Frankly, it seemed like everyone was mad for Madison.  It’s certainly nice – although no Seattle; but hey, not every city can have its very own Space Needle.   
Luckily, Madison wasn’t all spending eight hours a day in a classroom work and no play.  Compiled below are some things that I liked about Madison.  

1.     The view 
Madison is located on an isthmus (I’ll save you the trip to Wikipedia. An isthmus is a narrow strip of land bordered on both sides by water, connecting two larger bodies of land.) It’s surrounded by Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. All that water was quite pleasing to my Piscean sensibilities. 
2.      Babcock ice cream
When people talk about Madison, they inevitably end it with – “you gotta get the ice cream at the Union!” The University of Wisconsin at Madison has a dairy on campus and makes their own ice cream. We’re talking creamy, pure ice cream with like 15% butterfat content or something. I love ice cream. I loved this ice cream.

3.     Fried cheese curds
Basically, they’re little fried balls of cheese…curds. Honestly, I never asked what “curds” are. Actually, I don’t know what whey is either. And what’s a tuffet? And why was Humpty Dumpty sitting on that wall? Sorry. Weird nursery rhyme tangent. Fried cheese curds: They’re fried. They’re cheese. They’re good.
4.     Beer 
Madison is a beer connoisseur’s dream. I’m not a beer connoisseur. That said, I did try a beer. Not an Indian Pale Ale (IPA) because those are hoppy. I don’t know what hoppy beer is but a friend told me that once so now I just say that to pretend that I know anything about beer. This is the only beer that I had in Madison. It’s not an IPA. It was pretty good. And yes, there’s a lot of head. Whoops.
5.     There was a beer hall in the Student Union
Again, not a beer drinker. But come on, even I can appreciate that there was a full-on beer hall – with steins – in the Student Union. A beer hall in the Student Union. If my brother had known about this place, he might’ve actually filled out his college applications. Interesting historical fact – the University of Wisconsin at Madison was the first college to allow beer to be sold on campus. In the beer hall. In the Student Union.
6.     Noodles in an old building
 In Madison, I could’ve eaten noodles in an old building because Noodles and Company is literally in an old building!
7.     No firearms allowed
 I saw this sign in the windows of a couple bars. I thought it was a nice reminder for people that they weren’t allowed to hide guns, knives, switchblades, or nunchucks in their pants. But it totally ruined my go-to pick-up line - hey buddy, are you packin' tonight?

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